// November 18th, 2009 // No Comments » // Banking, Innovation, Jeff Stephens, New banking ideas, Non-technical innovation
As I was reading something businessy lately, a question popped up in my mind: why isn’t there affiliate marketing in banking?
Maybe there is, in a few cases, on a B2B level—you might argue LendingTree is affiliate marketing for lenders. But that’s not what I mean. There’s not, to my knowledge, any affiliate marketing program that could leverage the millions of retail customers out there. For instance, how many Bank of America customers have blogs or websites? Probably millions. Why not take a page from Amazon.com’s book (pun intended) and set up a killer affiliate program to drive traffic to the bank and kick back a reward to the referring site for accounts opened online?
I think I know why.
Because that’s not what bankers do.
Because that’s not how banking works.
And because, likely, nobody has ever really thought about it.
If you can’t tell already from my first few posts on this blog, one of my big pet peeves is that bankers don’t tend to look at business concepts (like affiliate marketing) and try to figure out how it might apply in their industry.
In my opinion, the best and most important activity any entrepreneurial banker can do, is this:
Look at other industries, see what’s successful, and then ask, “how can I apply this to banking?”
I’m not here to tell you affiliate marketing should be the future of banking. I don’t have an opinion at this point, because I haven’t given it much thought. Maybe I can think it over and write another post about that. But I do know this: at least I remembered to ask myself “how can this apply to banking?” The answer to that question is less important than the fact that it was asked in the first place. That’s how innovation happens.
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